When anti-aging is aging you

It is always odd in life when a conversation or observation plays itself out more than once in a short period of time. Of late it has been individuals who are trying desperately to defy aging. For many years I watched women try various treatments, creams, workouts, diets and clothing styles in an attempt to divert attention away from the signs of aging. Two very good examples of that presented themselves this past couple of weeks and my interest was peaked…Can the obsession with anti-aging, age you?

Women have long thought that by doing all of the above treatments they would somehow feel better about their bodies and overall image. It also appears that many believe that what they are doing is making them more beautiful to the public eye. I don’t have a problem with people who want to keep themselves healthy or even change up their personal style but some women are appearing older; trying to drink from the fountain of youth may have proved poisonous.

In the pursuit of the sun-kissed glow there are people who take that to the extreme and after years of tanning now sport the “leather look.” It has increased their wrinkles, moles and other skin related conditions and ultimately does not look youthful at all.

Clothing that belongs on a teenager or twenty year old is not flattering to the forty+  body. Yet we see many women attempting to claim their youth, through the wearing of styles so inappropriate it draws more negative attention than positive.

There are surgical enhancements/treatments that look mismatched in comparison to the body parts that are not altered. Not to mention botched jobs that cost some people more than what they bargained for.

How about injections that create an expressionless face that has everyone fixated on how nothing moves, rather than on what the person is saying.

What we see in the mirror is not always a true reflection and as a result we may never know how damaging the anti-aging pursuits have been.

It is a fact that we age and all of us have the choice to grow old with grace and acceptance, or fight it all the way to the grave. The fighting is futile; as sure as we will age, so shall we die. The amount of time, money and self battering associated with all of this may only hasten the process. The diets and dyes, drugs and surgeries, stresses with dressing and constant obsessing, may indeed age us quicker.

I know the pressure is there, streamed and beamed into every part of our life. A youth centric culture with air-brushed women and a warped sense of what makes a woman sexy. We can not enter any store, open a magazine, flip a channel, drive past a billboard or peruse the Internet without being reminded we are not good enough. Our attractiveness is measured constantly by society and even partners/family. So, it is no wonder that there are people who will never feel like they measure up.

We all do a self examination, myself included. After entering my forties I found myself on occasion assessing this new me, it comes with laugh and worry lines, a size up in clothing, more gray hair and a workout that takes me twice as long.  It is the work out that has me most perplexed. Apparently, muscles have memory but I think mine are suffering from a memory lapse, as they can’t remember my abs of steel and contoured triceps.

Having said that, I am not prepared to succumb to the pressures of being something I am not. What I wish for my body is health and happiness. What I want is to wear clothing that flatters the body that carried me this far, despite some bad decisions in the past. I don’t want to spend my money on anti-aging, just healthy living. If for some reason I have a case of missing my youthful looks too much, I’m hoping I have people around who can set me straight before I do irreversible damage to what was beautiful to begin with.


4 Responses to When anti-aging is aging you

  1. Good article Jennifer, although I do not think that the multi million beauty industry will agree with you!
    Personally, I realised a very long time ago that if I was going to depend on my looks for any success, (or for that matter my coordination), I was barking up the wrong tree or simply SOL!

    We have all been given different gifts, the secret is, I think, is to find and develop your own gifts and packaging.

  2. Well said!! Thanks for the comment. Our gifts and packaging are unique and should be positively developed but that isn’t the focus. Our society has gotten even more interested in being permanently stuck at an age they felt attractive or just plain inventing an entirely new person.

    The beauty industry would not agree with anything I said, it thrives on consumer weakness and gullibility.

    If self esteem could be injected or surgically implanted the beauty industry would be scrambling – “Ahh! Quick! Tell them they will die without this cream…anything….just get them back to believing they need us in order to be happy!” “Show them the ugly mirror, the one that makes their body and face look twice as old! QUICK!!” $$$$$

  3. I always love it when this topic comes up in conversation..and I am entirely on the same page as you,Jennifer. The trick is to learn to accept your ‘self’, inside and out. My personal belief is that the outside image reflects the inner state of being. Those who strive to continually alter physical appearance (or resist the changes caused by aging) might have more intense issues that are even more worthy of their focus on the inside. So here’s to aging with grace! 😉

  4. Here, Here! Aging with grace is possible and I for one would love to see many more women embrace it. Beauty coming from the inside out is magnificent to see. Some women can exude beauty and sensuality without ever having to transform their appearance or show everything they’ve got.
    One woman I always thought was beautiful was Audrey Hepburn. A lot of her youthful appearance came from her elegant style but also the dedication and energy given to charitable work. Being passionate about something outside of self can keep you young too!

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